Holy Paladin in The War Within

Sadly i don’t have access to the Alpha to test things myself so my criticism and concerns layed down in this post will be very theoretical, but i still wanted to get my thoughts out there.

Let’s start with our Hero Talent trees.

  • Lightsmith

They moved in the right direction with Lightsmith and made it so that you choose your targets to buff instead of throwing the armaments on the ground for your buddies to pick them up.
While this is a move in the right direction, the tree is still very much uninspired and boring. After throwing your armaments out, you pretty much can forget about them. There are way too many nodes in the tree that do nothing or are boring passive nodes. Blessed Assurance and Divine Guidance, for example, do not belong in a Holy Paladin tree. Shared Resolve is comically bad.
While it won’t feel awful to play, it might as well just not be there at all. Frankly, there is not much to say about Lightsmith because it does not have a lot of things going on. With this one they should probably just start from scratch.

  • Herald of the Sun

Herald of the Sun is by far the better of the trees but still far from perfect and depending on tuning, has the potential to lead to a miserable playstyle.

With Herald of the Sun, you’ll want to maximize your Wings uptime to make use of the capstone talent Sun’s Avatar. While this is not a bad thing in itself, our goal might be to cast as many Holy Power spenders as possible to proc Awakening as often as possible, which could lead to a very unpleasant gameplay experience.
To cast as many spenders as possible, you would hard cast Infusion of Light buffed Holy Lights whenever possible. This would lead to a gameplay loop of Holy Shock → Holy Light → Spender, since every Holy Light cast would give us three Holy Power.
Holy Light is a spell that, in my opinion, has no place in modern WoW. A single-target heal that is not especially potent with a cast time as long as Holy Light’s does not fit into the fast-paced fight style of modern WoW bosses.

Another concern that I have with Herald of the Sun is the choice of casting Eternal Flame vs. Light of Dawn. While the addition of Eternal Flame is a welcome one, I’m afraid that Light of Dawn will be the spender that we press in 90% of raid situations. Eternal Flame will be used to choose your Dawnlight targets after using Holy Prisms or Barrier of Faith, but outside of that, it will be Light of Dawn. The whole right side of the Herald tree offers LoD interactions, while Eternal Flame is just there without any additional interactions.

Overall, I like the Herald tree though. It is mostly passive but still feels impactful and makes Wings a more relevant cooldown again. As long as we don’t end up with the degenerate Holy Light spamming playstyle described above, I am fairly pleased with this tree but would wish for some more Eternal Flame interactions

  • General gameplay concerns

The changes in the first Alpha build were a step in the right direction but don’t go far enough in my opinion. Taking power out of our Beacons and moving it into active abilities is the right direction to take but does not address issues regarding our general gameplay loop.
Going from the Season 3 Tier Set back to the Season 2 one already made the spec feel a lot better in my opinion. While I miss the 45-second cooldown Daybreak, the added Holy Shock healing from the two-piece just feels a lot better. While the first build already buffed Holy Shock, I’d suggest taking it even further and moving more power out of Tyr’s and Glimmer and putting it into the direct healing of Holy Shock. We used to be known as good spot healers and I wish we could go back to being one.

Another point of concern is our extreme reliance on crit chance for our spec to function. In a long fight, you cannot afford to cast uninfused Flash of Lights or you will go OOM very quickly. Even with a 50% crit chance, you will have situations where your Holy Shock does not crit five times in a row, leading to you just standing there without any button to press. Mana as a resource does not work for the current iteration of Holy Paladin. We have no way to reduce our Mana spending except not pressing any buttons. Not even dealing damage is a real option since our damage-dealing abilities cost Mana too.
Just standing around and doing nothing should not be the go-to way if you want to be mindful of Mana. Other healers have way better options to gauge their mana consumption.

If things don’t change drastically, the beginning of the expansion with very low crit rating will be extremely rough for us. A first step in the right direction would be to undo the changes that came with patch 10.2. Holy Power spenders should not have Mana costs.
Dealing damage as a Holy Paladin has also become very frustrating since the rework. We have to use our healing spells to deal damage and are still way behind Druids or Priests, especially in Mythic Plus. We need better ways to deal damage without having to sacrifice our healing cooldowns like Divine Toll and Daybreak for it.


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